Todos Iguales/All Equal: Un corrido de Lemon Grove/A Ballad of Lemon Grove
Written and illustrated by Christy Hale
Roberto Álvarez loved school. Along with other Mexican American children, he attended the Lemon Grove School, where all students—Mexican American and Anglo—studied together as equals.
In the summer of 1930, the Mexican families learned of a plan to segregate their children in a small, inferior school. Refusing to let this happen, the parents organized. They filed a lawsuit against the school board, with twelve-year-old Roberto as the plaintiff. On March 12, 1931, the judge announced his ruling, supporting the children’s right to equal education. The Mexican American students were immediately reinstated in the Lemon Grove School to learn as equals once again.
With captivating illustrations inspired by vintage citrus crate labels, Christy Hale brings to life the little-known story of the first successful Mexican American school desegregation case in the United States. It stands as an empowering testament to an immigrant community and its tenacity in the fight for educational equality.
Listen to author Christy Hale discuss "The Lemon Grove Incident" on the Shine On Lemon Grove podcast here.
Listen to the first verse of "Un corrido de Lemon Grove" here.
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About the Creators
CHRISTY HALE has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building and several other titles for Lee & Low Books. As an educator, Hale currently teaches picture book writing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has also taught art and graphic design to high school students, and first learned about the Lemon Grove case at an in-service teacher workshop. Hale and her husband live in Palo Alto, California. You can visit her online at christyhale.com. Photo credit: Jenna Cole.